Help! I Wrecked My House, Season 3 Episode 3September 10 2022
Jimmy and Susie - Help! I Wrecked My House Season 3, Episode 3
High school sweethearts Jimmy and Susie rekindled their love 35 years later after living separate lives over all those years. Now, the two have been married three and a half years, they are both retired, and they’re looking to enjoy life together. Jimmy and Susie were previously living in a 750 square foot cottage down the street that they renovated themselves. It was a manageable, fun challenge for them. They decided they wanted to upgrade a bit, and bought their new home four months ago. Because they had a bit of renovation experience, they thought they could tackle this new project as well—but it was a much different experience.
They attempted to start renovating themselves by breaking into big things, like different walls in the kitchen. It became so overwhelming that, at one point, Susie started having panic attacks. At that point, Jimmy and Susie decided to put things on hold until they had a bigger and better plan to tackle fixing up their new home. “It was extremely daunting. We don’t have excess money to spend or blow, or try things out,” Susie explained. The two weren’t making any progress, they wanted to be able to hand off their house, get it finished, and move onto the next chapter of enjoying retirement.
“It was extremely daunting. We don’t have excess money to spend or blow, or try things out." – Susie
Jimmy and Susie have such a heart-warming reunion story and I couldn’t wait to get to work to give them their dream home. The house was six levels, and level five included the main living space with the kitchen, living room, and dining room. This was not the type of project the two of them could tackle themselves.
When I toured the kitchen, I was surprised by all of the angles the space contained. I literally had never seen a room with so many angles, so I knew the kitchen was definitely going to be a challenge. It was going to be tough to decide what to do with this room and how to treat it spatially, but I love a challenge and was excited to think outside the box on this particular room. I had a few ideas in mind that were not only going to be fun, but also help make sense of the twists and turns that existed in the space.
They also had a massive fireplace, which I was glad they hadn’t touched yet, because it was a focal point of the room that I wanted to give a complete overhaul. The living room needed a cosmetic refresh, and we ended up having to get creative with the flooring. Susie described her style as eclectic with a touch of modern and overall, homey. Jimmy praised Susie’s good design taste and talent for cooking, so he really wanted to make sure she had a large range and a big fridge! We had six weeks to complete this big project, and as Jimmy put it, I wanted them to come home to “awesomeness”.
Since everyone agreed the kitchen was the first thing that had to go—and it was going to be the biggest project—it was time to get started. We were taking on a new custom kitchen, new plumbing, new appliances, and having to patch the floors. This might be the most custom kitchen I have ever worked on.
Because of its interesting angles, the kitchen cabinets all had to be custom; we decided to go with white shaker cabinets. We chose a quartzite slab—which is the strongest material there is—for the backsplash and countertops. I added an island to create a double entry into the space and painted it a beautiful dark gray color. Jimmy also got his big range and refrigerator.
Because of the many angles and odd corners in this kitchen, we had to square off the entire room by adding an entrance to a pantry. Adding an almost 90 degree door to a new pantry allowed me to disguise one of the many angles that filled the space. Once that was done, I was able to set the tone for the rest of the kitchen.
Special Project: Oak Clad Beam
Jimmy and Susie had already started chipping away at the beam in the kitchen during their renovation because they really wanted it to be a design feature in their home. To bring that to life, we stepped in and wrapped the beam with drywall to bulk it up a little bit, and then added the same oak that we would use in the fireplace mantle on top of the drywall.
This tied the design elements together perfectly and made it a true architectural feature of this house. Every wood piece on this beam had to be custom made because of the angles in this kitchen. It was kind of like putting together a giant puzzle. This oak clad beam would really define the space as the kitchen upon entering.
The Dining Room
When we initially began the renovation, we only had a tiny bit of extra flooring to work with. And since we had to remove appliances and columns in the kitchen, we needed the flooring to patch those areas. However, flooring ended up turning into a bigger problem than expected, so we had to get creative and pivot.
We ended up using similar flooring to patch the spots, but because of this, it wasn’t the exact same color. We sanded the entire floor at once, and then stained the entire floor at once so we would end up with a beautiful floor that was all the same color. I was actually excited about this part of the project because it gave me a lot more control over the design. I ended up going with a lighter flooring color that would give this entire space an overall beachy vibe.
The Living Room
Jimmy and Susie had high hopes for this house, but they just couldn’t figure out the layout themselves. The living room mostly needed a cosmetic refresh, and with brighter new floors, it would give off a casual, coastal feel. There was one obvious spot for a couch to go—which was under the window. We situated the two swivel chairs in the center of the room, added art and greenery, and incorporated a large rug. The space was now ideal for entertaining and hosting, exactly what Jimmy and Susie were looking forward to.
Special Project: The Fireplace
Susie really wanted a cozy feel in her new home and they already had a standout fireplace I knew I wanted to update. The style of the original fireplace felt outdated and stale, so I set out to give it a major update that would make the room feel homey and welcoming.
We removed the surround and covered it with an over-grouted rough cut veneer stone. This gave it an organic texture that really worked well with Susie’s eclectic style. I also replaced the existing hollow mantel with a beautiful wood one that really brought home that cozy feel the couple was looking for.
Considering the new living room layout, I placed a pair of modern swivel chairs in front of the fireplace. I loved the contrast between the boxy chairs, the stone fireplace and the softness of the new living room because I knew Susie would appreciate how all of these elements and styles worked together harmoniously.
With the swivel chairs in front of the fireplace, the couple could enjoy reading by the fire. And if they were entertaining, Susie and Jimmy’s guests would be able to sit by the fire, swivel towards the television to watch a movie or turn another direction to be near the couch and involved in conversations.
Jimmy and Susie made it clear that the upper deck was one of their favorite parts of the home. With a stunning ocean view, it was a place where they wanted to share sunset moments and relax outdoors. I loved their ideas and passion for this special feature of their home, but the roof deck definitely needed a refresh.
We had a little extra room in our budget, so I was able to give this deck a makeover, adding in unique features that would give the couple an outdoor oasis they could retreat to anytime. I redesigned the patio area by including a vintage teak antique hutch where they can make both coffee and cocktails.
I turned the hutch into a custom piece by adding pieces inside to hang glassware. Custom solutions don’t always have to be extravagant. It can simply be buying a piece of furniture and making it your own, visually and functionally. With their new furniture and layout on their rooftop deck, they could now see their little piece of the ocean and sky while sitting down.
And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed this home’s journey as much as I did. Susie and Jimmy’s story serves as a wonderful reminder that second chances are always just around the corner and it’s possible to build your happy at any point in life. A huge thanks to Susie and Jimmy for letting me be a part of their story and allowing me to share what I love to do with them.
I love ❤❤❤❤❤ your show. Can hardly wait to see the cabin.
I always enjoy your show. This one was especially difficult due to the crazy angles. Great job Jasmine, you figured it out!
Beautiful! Where is the art behind the swivel chairs from?
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